Sometimes we get so preoccupied with a worry or concern that we become our own worst enemy, unable to focus on the moment, essentially sabotaging ourselves so that we don't act in our own best interests. Grounding strategies can be useful tools to rein in those overwhelming feelings and to return our focus to the present, calming us and empowering us to accomplish our goals. This week's GirlTip will talk about WHY it is important to be mindful and stay in the present and next week we will focus on the exercises that can help you do so!
There's science and reason to why mindfulness is important and helpful to reducing stress and relieving anxiety. Brain studies have given us a wealth of information into the mysterious mind of anxiety. While not all anxiety is bad, many sufferers will attest to the difficulties that worry and concern bring to their lives!
From a biological standpoint, anxiety is meant to put us on alert so that we can be prepared for threats of danger. Our bodies have a fight, flight, freeze response (and some scientists are now even talking about a faint response) that help us react when there is a perceived danger ahead. Unfortunately our bodies don't always respond appropriately and sometimes we have a false alarm. In these cases, anxiety actually hurts instead of helps.
It's important for us to stay connected with our thoughts and feelings. Paul Ingraham writes an excellent article about what works and doesn't work in cases of anxiety and stress. (Note: Stress and Anxiety are different things when it comes to the chemicals and reactions of the brain and body but both can be dealt with in very similar ways!) Regular check-ins keep us functioning at our prime and lessen the chance of true burn-out. Stay tuned for next week's GirlTip on the specific ways you can commit yourself to living in the moment!
PREVIEW TO NEXT WEEK'S EXERCISES IN THIS 2 PART SERIES:
Indulge in a passion
Do whatever is likely to get yourself into a flow state, where you lose track of time and feel fully engrossed in the task at hand. Maybe it's knitting, maybe it's rock climbing. Whatever it may be, spending time on a hobby you're passionate about can help anchor you in the present and get unhelpful feelings in check.